Demolition to begin on historic home in Independence damaged by fire

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Crews are expected to start demolishing a historic building in Independence.

Firefighters responded to the Thomson House at U.S. 40 Highway and East 36th Street around 2:40 p.m. Monday. Flames and smoke were already shooting out of the building. Firefighters immediately started fighting the fire from a defensive position.

It was the latest of three fires that have caused significant damage to the house since August 2020.

Investigators say someone started the latest fire, but have not ruled it arson at this point. They are still trying to determine where the fire started inside the building.

Independence fire captain Mykael Ann Jones says the building is considered a total loss.

“There was heavy fire, and with us not being able to go in, we had to set up aerial streams and it took quite a long time to get it considered under control,” Jones said.

The building dates back to 1855. A historical plaque in front of the house explains the home was originally owned by Benjamin Franklin Thomson and built with slave labor. The family fled the area during the Civil War but the mansion lived on, in one form or another, for generations.

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